Inner strength makes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a candidate for Cardiff City

• Solskjaer's potential spotted early by Sir Alex Ferguson
• Norwegian has enjoyed startling success in Norway

Vincent Tan and Sir Alex Ferguson may not have much in common but it appears that both men at least rate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a manager. The Cardiff owner is hoping to make the 40-year-old Norwegian the next manager of his Premier League club while Ferguson always knew that the former striker would be a success in the dugout.

Last year, when asked about Solskjaer's success at Molde, the Scot said: "Ole always wanted to stay in the game, so from an early age he was preparing to stay in the game as a coach or as a manager. He was always one of the professionals who used to take down all the notes from the training sessions and games."

Perhaps even more importantly, Ferguson talked about Solskjaer's inner strength, a quality necessary to succeed in management, whether it is working for Tan or any other owner in modern football. "He has got an inner toughness, there's no doubt about that," Ferguson said. "If you go to a club in Norway that have never won the league in their history and you win the league you have to have something about you."

Solskjaer is a wanted man. He turned down Aston Villa last year and Cardiff and West Bromwich Albion are two clubs on the lookout for a new manager going into the new year while his current club, where his contract runs out in the summer, hope to hang on to him.

The Molde director Tarje Nordstrand Jacobsen said this week that they have offered Solskjaer a contract extension and that it is by no means inevitable that the young manager will move abroad.

"I am in daily contact with Ole Gunnar and it is not impossible that this all ends with something positive for the club. He has not given us a final decision yet."

The Molde players are desperate to keep Solskjaer, understandably so after two league titles and one cup win in three years. The captain, Daniel Berg Hestad, talked recently of how Solskjaer kept spirits up earlier this year during what was, at times, a difficult season for the team.

"There were a lot of mental issues [for the younger players] and Ole and the rest of the coaching staff were very keen to sort that out as soon as possible."

There is no doubt Solskjaer has learned much from Ferguson. Last month, as Ferguson visited Norway to give a speech for 500 business men and women, the former United striker said: "It will be nice to see Ferguson again although I have heard most of the things he has to say before. What can businesses learn from Ferguson? Teamwork and team spirit. Set goals that are achievable.

"And then you have the work etiquette. Alex Ferguson was always the first one in and always the last one to leave. And he was also able to develop with the times, never to stand still, never to become a dinasour that just lingered."

And in his three years at Molde, Solskjaer has already implemented some of Ferguson's ideas. Not only has he been successful, he has done so with a group of young players, just as Ferguson's United did in the early 90s.

"I have had a very, very good time at Molde and it is always great to win titles," Solskjaer said recently. "That gives me the belief that my view on football, to develop players and to build a club, works. We are working to have better players and that way the team will develop as well.

"We are proud of what we have done so far. I can choose from a team of 11 Norwegians under the age of 22 who did a good job in the league. That is a very good sign for the club. We like to give young players a chance at the same time as we have got some very experienced players to lean back on."

As a coaching philosophy, Solskjaer's is difficult to argue with. The only question remaining is which club will be able to benefit from it in 2014.

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